Admirals bitten by the Wolves, 6-3

The Milwaukee Admirals dug themselves a five-goal, second period deficit and tried to get back in it before eventually falling to the Chicago Wolves 6-3 on Friday night at the Bradley Center in Amtrak Rivalry action.

The Ads outshot the Wolves 7-4 in the first period, but it was Chicago who would get the period’s lone tally. Former Admiral Darren Haydar picked up his sixth goal of the season at the 4:19 of the first, capitalizing on a Milwaukee turnover.

The second period was unkind to the Admirals as they gave up four goals. The Wolves Kevin Connauton started the scoring at 5:46 of the second and that was followed by goals from Nathan Longpre and Bill Sweatt.

After Chicago’s fourth goal of the game Admirals goalie Jeremy Smith was replaced by Atte Engren. However, things didn’t get any better for the Ads as the Wolves scored a short-handed tally at 15:47 of the period, the first shortie Milwaukee has allowed this year, and it was 5-0 Chicago.

The Admirals finally got on the board when Ryan Thang notched his sixth goal of the year. Roman Josi blasted a shot from the blueline that Chicago goalie Matt Climie stopped. Gabriel Bourque was there for the Ads with another try, but Clime turned him aside as well. However the puck popped out to a crashing Thang and he converted with 2:26 left in the period.

The Ads were able to use the momentum from Thang’s goal at the beginning of the third as Juuson Puustinen scored to make it 5-2 just 1:59 into the finals stanza. Michael Latta carried the puck into the Chicago zone and fired a shot that was blocked by the Wolves Chris Taney. The puck deflected to Kyle Wilson, who found Puustinen on the doorstep for a tap-in.

Puustinen got his second of the night in similar fashion to the first to pull the Admirals within two at 5-3 with 5:41 to play. Latta held the puck on the left hashmark and, with Puustinen stationed at the goal mouth, fired a pass cross ice that Puustinen easily deflected past Climie.

Still down by two less than a minute later the Wolves Mark Matheson was whistled for roughing, putting the Admirals on the power-play with an opportunity to cut the lead to one. However, just seven seconds into the man-advantage Chris Mueller was called for interference, nullifying the power-play.

The Admirals pulled Engren in favor of an extra attacker, but the Wolves managed to cap the night with an empty netter by Mark Mancari with 47 seconds remaining.

Puustinen’s two goal performance was his first as an Admiral and led the team’s offense tonight. Latta added two assists on the night, his second mutli-point game in his last three contests.

The Ads make a quick trip to Grand Rapids Saturday night to battle the Griffins before returning to the Bradley Center for a 4:00 pm matinee on Sunday afternoon.